Next week, I return to Eastern Europe for five months. I want to pack as simply as possible. And by that I mean ‘pack as many books as I can possibly jam into my bags’.
Here’s a handy little guide for you so that you too can fill your bags with as many books as possible …
*** DISCLAMIER ***
I know, I know – just take a kindle, you can take hundreds of books that way. Sure. Do that. I have done and will do … but I also take physical books with me. BECAUSE I HAVE TO OKAY???
HOW MUCH SPACE DO I HAVE?
- a carry on case
- a laptop bag
THE BOOK MUST NOT BE A STOOPID CHOICE
Weight and space are limited in your bag, so you need to take books that will be useful, that you can reread or that will take absolute yonks to consume.
For this reason, I’m taking two books on teaching and grammar and a book with creative writing exercises.
THE BOOK MUST NOT BE TOO HEAVY
… or it can be. (Rules are made to be broken, or so the saying goes.) I’m taking a 500+ page hardback about Calvinism with me. I’ve been wanting to read it for years and now is the time.
But – if you can – try and avoid hardbacks. If the book is thick – having it in paperback could be the way to go. I’m doing this too – taking The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore with me (600+ pages. Also I’ve just sniffed them and is there anything better than the smell of books?)
THE BOOK MUST NOT BE PRICELESS
Travelling with your books is dangerous – for the books, at least. Though you try your very best to keep them in a pristine condition … it’s quite impossible sometimes.
So choose a book you’re not happy to be battered, but you’ll at least be okay with it turning up a little worse for wear.
I’m bringing a paperback set of the Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen. I paid a dollar a piece for them so if they get a little worn, I shan’t be too concerned.
THE BOOK MUST BE A HEYER
I nearly considered leaving her behind as I have many on my kindle HOWEVER … this moment of profound foolishness has since passed and I’m taking Frederica with me. (Cotillion may slip in or replace it, I’m not sure.)
I may not actually finish all these books – I will be teaching, after all, and life will be moderately busy. But having my books about me is the same as being surrounded by friends. And I adore my friends.
Also, I’ll be taking my Bible, a book I borrowed from someone, and a few notebooks.
… I don’t have a problem. I just have priorities. And who needs clothes anyway?